SAN FRANCISCO — Twilio has extended its API support to Facebook Messenger, thereby offering its developers another medium from which to communicate with their users. The integration means that the cloud communications platform not only provides phone and SMS as an outlet, it now offers a way to use the messaging app with its 900 million active users.
News of theTwilio partnership coincides with the social networking company’s introduction of support for bots on its Messenger platform. At the F8 developer conference, there’s much fanfare about the potential for developers and businesses on the popular app, and Twilio’s inclusion is one such highlight.
For many years, Twilio has been geared at telephony services, specifically pertaining to phone, SMS, and MMS. Developers have relied on the platform to improve communication with or between users. Today is a first, however, since Twilio has never tied itself to a messaging app before.
“Businesses today don’t get to choose where their customers are. Businesses need to be wherever their customers want them,” said Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson. “Whether it’s voice, SMS, video, in-app chat, or messaging apps, we’re building a platform that enables businesses to communicate like humans.”
Through the use of Twilio’s API, developers won’t need to spend significant time building and maintaining communication apps across multiple channels. The company says that its 900,000 developers can now quickly and easily build apps that tie into Facebook Messenger.
As Twilio reportedly mulls over going public, demonstrating scale and diverse services beyond traditional communication features could help its case. In addition, if Twilio wants to be at the forefront of the conversational commerce game, it needs to maintain its forward momentum and offer developers the tools they need to communicate with users.
Lawson has previously touted the concept of software-defined communication, saying at one point that as the world continues to move into the cloud, so do telecommunication companies. As Twilio becomes the new Verizon or AT&T, it’s proving that it can innovate and adapt to the changing behavioral landscape. Lawson and his team seem to recognize that with the rise of messaging apps — and now bots — Twilio’s platform will be playing a bigger role in helping developers adapt to the landscape.
Some of the first companies to leverage Twilio’s new partnership include Postmates and GoButler. These services will use Facebook’s Messenger Platform to manage delivery requests, confirmations, and any customer-to-courier communication.